Heat Shrink guns

 
  a6et Minister for Railways

I have sourced some very nice warm white LED's that do not have the more yellow ting of most, the only problem is the amount of light that they throw out on the sides & back, while the side light is fine & looks very good & providing a nice glow for inside buildings, I need to try & block the back light, either by paint, or using shrink wrap.  As a result of this I also want to use these LED's along with fibre optics attached to the tip to illuminate some spot areas around buildings rather than single LED's at each spot.  

Anyone suggest what type of heat gun to use on the wrap?  Have done some searches & some appear to be a bit over the top & more akin to paint stripper guns, also a few I have noticed are flameless Butane gas guns, with so called refillable cartridges, while these may be ok, the actual cartridges used appear to be much different to the throw away cigarette lighters so may not fit, thus where to get replacements is a concern.

Any help/suggestions appreciated.

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  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
Smallish butane gas torchs are available everywhere, a quick search found them at Jaycar and Aztronics, I bought mine from Bunnings, all for around the $30-$40 mark, they can be filled from gas cans which are around the $15 $20 mark, the brand of mine escapes me but it has a self lighter and is quite economical on gas. The gas cans come with a variety of tips to refill all manner of devices.
You don't use the flame on heat shrink, just the hot air at the end of the flame cone! Don't be tempted to buy those small $10 gas torches from the store counters and cheap shops, they are a waste of money and pure junk.
My daughter has a very small compact hair dryer which may or may not work, I haven't tried it, I imagine it would, a quick test certainly made me go 'ouch'.
I have on many occasions used the soldering iron that I just made the connection with, just run it all round the heat shrink to make sure it all gets shrunk. I recently put heat shrink around a TCS Z2 chip and used the soldering iron on that, I wasn't game to go near it with the butane torch. It worked for me.


Wayne
  TrainTree Train Controller

Location: Eltham
Personally I use the thicker part of a soldering iron held close to make the heat shrink do its job. Not the most accurate solution and it needs a steady hand. I'd rather not have the expense of a heat gun.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
We professionals use a standard cigarette lighter. That or lesser solution of the hot barrel of your soldering iron.

Shrinking wrap is a trivial excercise almost any source of heat will do and I am not convinced a mini butane touch with a flame temp at 1400C is a safe thing to go waving around near an SMD LED, tiny wire and tiny solder quantity. Dry solder joints could occur by such methods.
  BladeHunter Station Master

Location: Sydney
Lighter, match or hair drier works.

Unless you're manufacturing wiring looms buying something for heatshrinking is a waste of money.
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

I use my wife's hairdryer, works a treat. Then I'm in trouble when she can't find it in the bathroom. I also use the heat from the barrel of the soldering iron.
  bjviper Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisvegas
Some of the gas powered soldering irons come with flame and hot air tips that you can use.  I have an old Portasol unit purchased from Jaycar about 10years ago that I use for heatshrink.

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=TS1310


I've tried to use the barrel of a soldering iron but it takes way too long.  At work we have a proper heat gun (electric) from Bosch, which is really just a paint stripper gun with a variety of nozzle attachments for adjusting the air pattern.  These would be overkill for hobby use though.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I've tried to use the barrel of a soldering iron but it takes way too long.
bjviper
It takes several seconds. Put the shrink near the junction of the tip and barrel, that's where the peak in heat energy is.
  Laser Rail Bits Locomotive Driver

Location: Goulburn NSW
I have sourced some very nice warm white LED's that do not have the more yellow ting of most, the only problem is the amount of light that they throw out on the sides & back, while the side light is fine & looks very good & providing a nice glow for inside buildings, I need to try & block the back light, either by paint, or using shrink wrap.  As a result of this I also want to use these LED's along with fibre optics attached to the tip to illuminate some spot areas around buildings rather than single LED's at each spot.  

Anyone suggest what type of heat gun to use on the wrap?  Have done some searches & some appear to be a bit over the top & more akin to paint stripper guns, also a few I have noticed are flameless Butane gas guns, with so called refillable cartridges, while these may be ok, the actual cartridges used appear to be much different to the throw away cigarette lighters so may not fit, thus where to get replacements is a concern.

Any help/suggestions appreciated.
a6et

I  confess to being a smoker....oooohhh ahhhhh and normally have a pocket full of lighters....but I am a fan of the soldering iron technique.  Apart from doing a good job it can get into all the small clearance spaces that conventional heat guns etc won't

Rod
  railmod Chief Train Controller

Hi Mr C,

Like most others I use a soldering iron & just roll it around the shrink tube sometimes it touches the tube sometimes not, but seems to work OK either way.

Cheers Alex.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Guys

Thanks heaps for all the advice.  I will try the soldering iron method as first tests. I have to admit to being wary about the butane guns, more so for the aspect of what good are they once I finish the heat wrap work.  Ok only $30.00 a pop on Ebay for an Irodo brand but thinking the paint stripers are too expensive & unless Railmod who now has experience in painting had need of using it here, would also be a waste of money.

My wife has a hair drier, & I have a few soldering iron Tips, & a bit cheaper to replace.

I now need to work on getting the fibre optic wire as well as the shrink wrap.

For those interested here is a link to the site I obtained the LED lights from the following store.  I have found them quite good in prices & services, the addition of the warm white LED's are the first I have seen in this colour, & as mentioned in the original question, they are certainly better than the warm lights shown in the various strip lights. While the strip light warm whites have a yellow type ting more suitable for the older incandescent lights, the colour of the ones I obtained (3mm warm white) is very much different & I will be looking at using them for internal lights in the RUB set carriages, as they used to be soft flouro lights but not of the more modern brighter flouro types, as such much more suitable, I was very pleasantly surprised a the clean light emitted.

Cheers & thanks again

http://stores.ebay.com/LED-Wholesale-World

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